Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing

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Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing is easier than you think!

Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing-So easy to do!

Anyone can do it and I’m going to prove it to you all!

And you don’t need a lot of fancy bags and tips and impossible to find decorating tools.

I did it! And I’m no cookie decorator. But I have friends (on Facebook) who are.

And they are all so wonderful, sharing what they create and how they create it.

For this post we’re going to focus on what Callye at Sweet Sugarbelle  taught me. Because her tutorials just made it “click” in my head, and now because of her, I’m not ashamed to try and make a pretty cookie instead of the drop cookies I usually make.

To make Royal Icing you need to watch her tutorial on 20 second icing The entire post is really helpful and all the videos are short, Callye gets right to the point!

I used Sugarbelle’s Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe. Just like her Icing, it’s no fail, I love it and it tastes great!  I chose a candy cane and a cookie man for shapes. Keep it simple starting out.

Now if you’ve done what I told you and watched Sugarbelle’s Tutorials, you are now ready to start. Make your royal icing, using Sugarbelle”s Royal Icing get it on the thick but pourable side. The easiest way to “water down” your icing is using a plant mister, spray bottle, call it what you want. Use it. It works. And it will take a lot of misting to go from the Royal icing to get to the 20 second icing.

You all need to trust me on this, it’s really worth getting “it”. I’ve had so much fun since I got “it” that I’m looking for excuses to make cookies.

So you have baked cookies, and you have your 20 second icing. Now for some fun. Remember my promise of no fancy tools. Here’s all you need to make simple but beautiful, ALL THE OTHER MOMS ARE GONNA HATE YOU, cookies.

Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing

2 bottles.

And I already did all the research for you.

You want the wide mouth bottles. Make sure they are wide mouth unless you just like pouring icing all over your counter.

Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing

the one on the left is bad, small hole, makes big mess

Wilton makes a 2 pack decorating bottle that I found at Michaels for under $3.00. It was by the candy melts.  Hobby Lobby didn’t have any bottles in the cake decorating section but in the paint section they had the bottles I wanted for $1.89 each. And I’m sad to say I found nothing at Walmart.

And when I got home, I remembered I had bottles that we use for barbecue sauce in the cabinet. Just make sure your hole isn’t too big.

You can also order  Condiment Bottles on line from Amazon.

Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing

So you’ve got your cookies baked, you’ve got the right bottles. You’ve made your icing. now make a design.

Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing

This is just a guide. I traced my cutters then just shaded the areas I wanted for red. Oh and I so copied the idea for my cookie men from the King Arthur Flour catalog, yes I did!

Color about 1/3 of your icing. I used the Americolor Red, everyone is so right about those food colorings, I probably would have had to use a whole container of another brand to get this red.

Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing

(and Callye’s tip on storing icing, is right on, I actually had this left over from my second try of Royal Icing, just stored it in the fridge, just like she told me)

Now pour into your bottles

Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing

Time for the real fun! Decorating!

Again, I watched Callye’s tutorial on the 20 second icing, her 3rd and 4th videos show how to use it! Go back and watch one more time if you need to.

Now just try it!

Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing-Cookie Men

I know what you’re thinking,

this will be hard,
Joan bakes all the time,
blah, blah, blah

I only decorated 3-4 cookies,
my 12 year old did all the rest!

Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing-Candy Cane Cookies

Be sure to wait about 20-30 minutes before adding the second color to your cookies, you want that first color to start setting up.

Want to add a little fun, right after applying the icing, add some sprinkles, let it set for about 30 minutes then carefully shake off and continue

Be sure to let your cookies dry for several hours, overnight is best.

And still think you can’t do it?

Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing-Christmas Trees

How about two 9 year olds?

So lets do a quick recap

my first try (before Callye and Sweet Sugarbelle’s tutorials)

My second try, after getting “it”

Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing-Halloween Pumpkins

And my 3rd time
Decorating Cookies with Royal Icing-So easy to do!

Here are my tips for starting out.
*Keep it simple, either make small cookies or just don’t try to cover the entire cookie. Working in small areas works best.
*Practice on those first few cookies, you know the ones that are a little burnt around the edges.
*Have fun with it, even if they look ugly, they still taste really good!

Here are some more Holiday favorites

Swedish Christmas Cookies

Swedish Christmas Cookies

Chocolate Decorator Cookies

Chocolate decorator Cookies

Mint Chocolate Bark

Mint Chocolate Bark


Gingerbread Men

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About Joan Hayes

Mom to 3 teens, sweets and travel are her passions. Joan really does love her chocolate. She has a secret stash she hides from the kids and she has at least one bite of something chocolatey every day. She creates easy recipes any skill level can achieve to satisfy the sweet tooth in everyone!


  1. They look gorgeous, great job Joan!

  2. Great job! I will have to find that brand of red coloring… I have tried many different kinds they either come out white… or have that nasty food dye taste!

  3. Cute! Nice job!

  4. This is wonderful! I can’t wait to use this for our Christmas cookies this year..thanks for all the great information and the research you’ve done. Your cookies look wonderful 🙂

  5. Great post…..I learned EVERYTHING from watching Callye’s tutorials. I’ve not been at this long at all. She’s a fantastic teacher. Thanks for linking my page at the bottom. 🙂 It’s very much appreciated.

  6. Thanks Ladies, once I got “it” I was just so excited to share with everyone!

    @Giselle thank you for sharing your talent with the rest of us!

  7. Beautiful work, Joan!!

    These look better than ANY cookie I’ve ever seen done in a bakery!

  8. Omg O loooooove Calle’s 20 second icing! !! These are adorbs!

  9. great work.They look very beautiful…Thanks a lot for sharing with the event @food corner…

  10. Yes! This is exactly what I wanted – and now I CAN. Thank you Joan!

  11. I am horrible at cookies, but my little brother-in-laws just earned a new belt in karate, and I thought it would be fun to make gingerbread men with little yellow belts! So – here I am.

    One question though. I see some of your cookies have set with a sheen to them (the pumpkin pictures) and others (like the bats and candy canes) seem to have a matte finish. Is there a way to control the final finish, or were the pumpkin ones not fully set? And if the natural finish is a matte, how can we add a gloss to the final product (like all those fancy-pants cooks do)?

  12. This is awesome! Definitely gives me a bit of a confidence boost for cookie decorating – something I tend to avoid like the plague because I find it intimidating. Thank you! 🙂

  13. Great ideas, oh and I found the bottles at Wal-Mart today……97¢ can’t wait yo try these, great pictures!!

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